The BBC Board has said it “welcomes” the government’s mid-term charter review, which will examine the governance and regulation of the BBC.
The process, which will take 12 months, will be undertaken by “officials” from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which is currently led by minister Nadine Dorries. At the end of the review, officials will publish a report which “may make recommendations for changes to the governance and regulatory arrangements for the BBC.”
According to the review, its objectives are to: “Examine whether the governance arrangements established during Charter Review 2015/16 and enshrined in the current Charter and Framework Agreement are effective in enabling the BBC to deliver on its Mission and Public Purposes; Examine whether the regulatory arrangements established during Charter Review 2015/16 and enshrined in the current Charter and Framework Agreement are effective in enabling the BBC to deliver on its Mission and Public Purposes and reviewing the evidence as to how ensuring Ofcom can successfully hold the BBC to account; Make recommendations, as appropriate, for changes to these arrangements during the current Charter period, and as necessary, for further consideration at the next Charter Review.”
The remit of the review does not extend to performance, purpose or funding models however it represents the latest battle front between the government and the public broadcaster following Dorries’ directive to freeze and potentially scrap the BBC licence fee.
The review will, however, look at editorial standards and impartiality, commercial governance and regulation, competition and market impact, diversity and transparency.
“The mid-term review is built into our Charter,” said BBC Chairman Richard Sharp. “We welcome it and we will engage fully and constructively. We look forward to working with Government and [broadcasting regulator] Ofcom.”